To the Editor:
I am dismayed, disgusted and completely flabbergasted after seeing anti-vaccine protesters outrageously targeting hospitals and medical care professionals, the very people who have sacrificed physically, mentally and emotionally to the point of exhaustion and burnout during this pandemic. They have given their all and more, they have struggled and prayed and wept at the losses, have worked every single day and night, to save lives. And how do we thank them? One moment we are cheering them, banging pots and doing a drive-by “Thank You” and the next we are screaming obscenities at them?! Hospital entrances were blocked, delaying ambulances, putting lives at risk. It was bad enough – and completely unacceptable – when these protesters’ offensive behaviour targeted politicians, but this goes beyond the pale. Some of them had children with them. What appalling message were they sending them? Shame on them!
These activists, who demand respect for their personal choice, are not showing any respect whatsoever, and some are even threatening violence. This is not, cannot be, who we are. They can choose to get their “information” from social media, knowing full well that anyone can post anything there and declare it fact. They can choose to ignore the science, to disbelieve the overwhelming majority of researchers, the most qualified epidemiologists in the world, and believe the one dissident with false qualifications. Yes, they have the right to make that choice, and they can deny the pandemic all they want. It will not alter the truth, and they should know that their “personal choice” will cost lives. The Covid-19 virus doesn’t care what you believe. The unvaccinated are, and will continue to be more susceptible to infection; and to whom will they turn then? The very people they now condemn. Those who refuse to get the shots may allow this virus time to mutate further, perhaps leading to even more resistant variants. They will also be more apt to carry and spread the disease, putting others’ lives at risk. Unavoidably, people will die. Can they live with that?
Public safety should always outweigh personal choice. It’s why we have red lights and “no smoking” zones. Our children do not have polio today, thanks to a vaccine that people were grateful to receive. That mentality is sorely needed, again. Please. This vaccine is NOT about your freedom. This vaccine is about arming ourselves in war against a common, lethal enemy, about coming together in a united front lest the attacker slip through the lines. If you cannot be convinced, at the very least, be respectful. I sincerely hope that your “personal choice” does not lead to consequences that you sorely regret.
Finally, I send a heartfelt “Thank you!” to all those in medical care. Do not let the rowdy few discourage you. You truly have been heroes through this and I, one of many, admire you for your dedication, compassion and caring.